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SoftBank fires up Ola Electric with $250 mn capital infusion
Photo Credit: Reuters

Ride-hailing company Ola’s electric mobility arm has raised Rs 1,725 crore ($250 million) from Japanese investor SoftBank in a Series B funding round.

Regulatory filings show Ola Electric Mobility Pvt. Ltd allotted compulsorily convertible preference shares to SoftBank on Tuesday following a special resolution passed by the board on June 25.

The transaction has valued Ola Electric around $1 billion, making it the latest entrant to the unicorn club of startups, the Press Trust of India and TechCrunch reported.

Queries sent to Ola did not elicit a response till the time of publication of this article.

The fundraising comes barely four months after Ola Electric mopped up Rs 400 crore from investors including New York-based Tiger Global Management and venture capital firm Matrix Partners India. In May, Tata Sons chairman emeritus Ratan Tata had invested an undisclosed amount in Ola Electric.

Both SoftBank and Tata had also previously invested in Ola, run by ANI Technologies Pvt. Ltd.

Ola Electric was hived off as a separate entity from the parent company in April 2018. Headed by Anand Shah and Ankit Jain, Ola Electric focuses on deploying charging and battery-swapping networks for the commercial electric vehicles segment.

The company plans to deploy electric vehicles and charging solutions, including battery swapping stations, electric two-wheeler and three-wheeler services.

Ola has partnered with several original equipment manufacturers and battery makers, and intends to work closely with the automotive industry to create solutions for electric vehicle operations.

Ola itself has attracted investor attention as well, recently.

In March this year, South Korean automakers Hyundai Motor Co. and Kia Motors Corp. invested $300 million (Rs 2,050 crore) in the company. The three companies will collaborate to develop India-specific electric vehicles and infrastructure. In January, Steadview Capital invested Rs 520.79 crore in the ride-hailing firm.

Both Ola and its chief rival, Uber, have a common investor in SoftBank. To compete with its US-based competitor, Ola has entered three overseas markets—Australia, the UK and New Zealand—over the past year. It has also explored two-wheeler hailing services and delivery platforms, having deciding to invest over Rs 700 crore in Bengaluru-based startup Vogo.

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